Thursday, February 25, 2010

'Compton Cookout'? Not the Racial 'Crisis' it's Cracked Up to Be

At the Los Angeles Times, "Students Walk Out of UC San Diego Teach-In." The first thing I noticed is the tears streaming down the young woman's face. What's causing her so much pain? It's hard to see at the screencap, so look closely at the original image.

At issue was an off-campus party thrown by a fraternity and promoted as a "Compton Cookout." Women were invited to attend as "'ghetto chicks' with gold teeth, cheap clothes and 'short, nappy hair'."

Now this is not something I would organize, sponsor, or endorse, but as distasteful as the "Compton Cookout" appears, it's seen more as a catalyst of racial outrage for percieved slights and injustices. As the Times reports:

The controversial party, she and others contended, was just the spark that ignited long-simmering ethnic tensions on the campus.

According to UC systemwide data, UC San Diego enrolled the smallest number of black freshmen last fall of any of the nine undergraduate campuses, 46 students out of a class of 3,749. Overall, officials say, about 1.6% of the campus' 23,143 undergraduates are African American, among the lowest percentages in the UC system.

And while I have little affinity for Earl Ofari Hutchinson's politics, he suggests that the frat party was not only organized by white and non-white students, but was an artifact of the wider culture:
The Compton cookout, of course, was the boneheaded stunt by a handful of white and non-white students at an off campus to mock, poke fun at, and revel in what's presumed to be the sway and swagger of ghetto life. There's a problem, actually, two problems with this. The air head students couldn't conjure this up from whole cloth. They aren't that imaginative. They lifted the wording for the invitation for the cookout from the online Urban Dictionary web site. The site has parlayed an online commercial empire out of irreverent lampooning of slang words and phrases, and then hustling some slang laced products at a pretty penny. There are nine Compton cookout mugs, banners, tee shirts and mouse pads scrawled with inscriptions and jive talk on the items, some with a hefty price tag. There's also evidence that the UCSD racial spoofery is not isolated, that students at other campuses have had their own versions of Compton Cookouts.

"Naw, `hoe' is short for honey." (Dr. Dre, "Housewife")

That's the minor problem. The bigger problem is that Urban Dictionary, as the UCSD students, couldn't conjure up the Compton Cookout inanity from whole cloth either. They've had overgenerous help from the endless parade of gangster rappers, some black filmmakers, and comedians continue to routinely reduce young black women to "stuff," "bitches" and "hoes." Their contempt reinforces the slut image of black women and sends the message that violence, mistreatment and verbal abuse of black women are socially acceptable. Despite lawsuits, protests and boycotts by women's groups, gangster-themed films and rap music still top the popularity charts. Hollywood and music companies rake in small fortunes off them, and so do a few rappers.
And here's this from Jusneet Beasley of Marshall College:
Obviously, PIKE [Pi Kappa Alpha] is made up of entitled young WASPs who just want to get fucked up and have fun. Instead of protesting some insignificant fraternity’s barbecue bash, I believe that concerned UCSD administrators should focus their attention on real problems that the student body can endeavor to change. We, as a generation, see how the American political system is failing due to outdated bipartisanship. But instead of encouraging the student body to come together to protest and make real change, the administration has resorted to sending e-mails condemning inappropriate frat parties. Grow up, UCSD.
But all of this is unimportant to the race-mongering grievance industry. Just today 17 students were arrested at UCI during a sit-in protesting the "‘Compton Cookout’ incident at UC San Diego ..."

The frat party was in bad form, but it's not the real reason for the cries of "racism." Those are found way deeper in the victimology culture that chains down black Americans in the left's self-segregating culture of under-achievement and blame.

It's time to lift up the race, not beat it down further by inflamming manufactured outrages that mask larger issues internal to black Americans and their culture.